Things started ok. The mast was indeed up and all the bits and pieces connected. It took most of the afternoon to stow provisions and say goodbye to Sharon and Stephen so precious little got done.
The next morning we set too in earnest. Alan and I got on with the sail and a general tidy up above decks and left Mick to sort out the Nav lights. By late afternoon it was clear . Multiple problems with the Nav lights fittings and wiring finally let to the diagnosis that new lights and wiring were required. After much heated debate about whether we needed the lights (that continued during the rest of the week) I decided we did and it was therefore clearwe were going nowhere that day. Only undersized lights and domestic wire could be tracked down quickly so we had to make do with a temporary solution. Somehow or another it was late Monday afternoon before the lights and a succession of other unanticipated more minor jobs were done.
The northerlies had been and gone and with freshish south westerlies forecast we dropped down the river to the outer harbour having played chicken with the local dredger on the way.
|The Dredger Orca|
We consoled ourselves with a very good meal at the Yacht Club and got a reasonably early night ready for an early start in the morning.
A fresh south westerly was blowing but we got through the banks without undue difficulty and made sail. We we were able to lay a reasonable course for Harwich and were enjoying a cracking sail. The boat was going well under full genoa and a single reef in the main. Then the 0810 Lowestoft Coastguard transmission wiped the smiles off our faces. A SW severe gale force 9 was forecast. In our alarm we forgot that "soon" gave us 6 hours and we diverted to Southwold after only 2 hours sailing.
Alan and Mick had to leave for other duties. Mick returned on Wednesday evening and Tony joined us too. The stiff breezes of Wednesday and Thursday (the F9 never materialised in Southwold) were replaced by two days of flat calms So we motored to Brightlinsea and then onto Hoo without further incident other than being boarded by the Police off Blacktail Spit. I think they were getting in some Olympics prep as I've never been boarded before. Suffice to say they fpund no reason to detain us!
|Proud owner at Brightlingsea|
Roll on the sumer!
|George at work before we discovered his proper home,|
|Tony and AS at Brightlingsea|